Back to Black Yoga Course

A 5-week introductory yoga course for people of the black community with Sarah Benjamin.

Next dates TBA

This course has a primary focus of addressing the accessibility of yoga to the black community.

At Light Yoga Space, our aim is to make yoga as welcoming and as beneficial as we can to all. We recognise that there is not as much focus on this for the black community. And yes, we want to change that.

 
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Course Outline (5 weeks):

  1. Introduction and The Five Points of Yoga (Proper Exercise, Proper Breathing, Proper Relaxation, Proper Diet, Positive Thinking) Introduction Sun Salutations - the warm up sequence.

  2. Common myths of yoga. Tension and relaxation and how it works together. Focus on basic postures.

  3. Physical Benefits - postures for developing flexibility and strength in the muscles, joints and tendons. Posture and counter-posture.

  4. Mental Benefits - focus on breathing and awareness during postures - developing strength and ease.

  5. Putting it all together - how does this help me ?

 
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“Why don’t more black people do yoga?”

Well, it all started when co-founder Janice asked me this question. And it stopped me in my tracks. 

I’d never really thought about this before.  I just thought that black people, just like anyone else, would “find” yoga, like I did. But that really isn’t the case and I didn’t have an exact answer to this question. That’s when I realised that this was really important and started to have more thoughts about this, such as:

“Do black people think the practice excludes them culturally? Or is the stretching and spiritual stuff just too weird.”

Our endless conversations, debates, and theories really started the wheels turning here at Light Yoga Space. Is it the media? Is it the lack of accessibility? Are there not enough black yoga teachers teaching? Well...YES to all of that! And while asking friends and the beautiful black people of Dalston on the local high street, I did have responses connecting to many of these reasons.

“An empowering practice that’s not reaching everyone who needs it?”

That has got to change.

“Why yoga is a black thing too.”

Yoga is an ancient system for the body and mind that has its roots in India but was created for everyone who wanted to discover their own inner wisdom and true potential . It’s an all-round approach to self development. You can start yoga for the most fundamental of reasons such improving aches and pains, injuries to the body, right through to improving concentration, strength, confidence, emotional well-being and peace of the mind. All of which we can take off the mat and into our everyday lives.

If you are of the black community or black diaspora and ever wondered what yoga is really about, come and join us for this course.

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About Sarah

Hi I’m Sarah and as of April 2019 I became a co-owner at Light Yoga Space. I have been a regular yoga practitioner since 2008, qualified as a yoga teacher in 2011 and I have been teaching yoga ever since.

Alongside this, I work part-time as an IT teacher and coach and I am passionate about education and self development, as I believe we all seek one or both of these at some point in our lives.  I have an 18 year career of working in an inner city college and I draw on my experiences of supporting people from all walks of life to help with my yoga teaching and championing the inclusivity of the practice.

After this course

To help you continue your practice, we have a 6 week beginners course that gives even more details about the postures.  You are also very welcome to repeat the Back to Black course as many times as you like as your regular practice if you prefer.

We also have our regular drop-in classes if you feel inspired to move to a general mixed group class. Timetable for our classes is here

Join our mailing list to receive updates about the Back to Black course and other information, or email Sarah at lightyogaspace@gmail.com for more details.